Will the coronavirus lead to yet another spike in antisemitism in the US? – The Jerusalem Post

Posted By on March 9, 2020

At the beginning of February, the Anti-Defamation League exposed that the coronavirus outbreak was used by extremists to spread conspiracy and antisemitic theories, especially using platforms such us Telegram and 4chan. Finally! Science has discovered a cure for the most insidious disease of our time Jewishness, wrote one extremist on the encrypted instant-messaging service Telegram, according to the ADL. The same person also referred to a news report that three Israelis were quarantined as possible coronavirus carriers with the message 3 down, 5,999,997 to go!A month later, as a cluster of cases of COVID-19 (COronaVIrus Disease 2019) emerged in the New York-area Jewish community, as well among participants at the AIPAC conference in Washington, many are concerned that the epidemic might become yet another excuse for a spike in antisemitic rhetoric and episodes. The US already has experienced an unprecedented increase in anti-Jewish attacks and hate crimes in the past two years.There is always concern that people will be scapegoated in the face of a health crisis, Alexander Rosemberg, ADL deputy regional director for the New York/New Jersey region, told The Jerusalem Post. It happens every time there is a major pandemic. It happened with Africans around Ebola. It happened recently with the Orthodox community in New York City around the measles scare that we had.In the case of the coronavirus, the problems began with people blaming Asian Americans since the virus originated in China, he said.We started seeing them getting assaulted in the subway, Rosemberg said. But then it has moved into other communities, including the Jewish community. We are always concerned that this does not go beyond where it should. The public should be focusing more on how to prevent the disease and the virus from spreading rather than blaming a group.The ADL is constantly monitoring the situation, and unfortunately, the organization is seeing problematic contents on social media, he said.We are seeing some Facebook posts and statements from fringe individuals and groups employing antisemitic tropes, especially after what happened in the Westchester community that is pretty close to the Monsey community in upstate New York, as well as at Yeshiva University, where one of the students is the son of one of the first people who got it in Westchester, Rosemberg told the Post.Since the beginning of the outbreak, the ADL publicly supported the Asian community and sent out material on how to avoid scapegoating in the face of an epidemic, he said, adding that it is constantly focusing its efforts into giving people resources to better understand what is happening.We stand with other communities, and we always say that what starts with the Jewish people never ends with the Jewish people, Rosemberg said.Whenever something like this happens, its up to every single individual to become an ambassador against hatred, he said. If somebody out there sees somebody else been blamed for something that it is obviously a stereotype, its up to everyone to put a stop to that forcefully and strongly.American Jewish Committee CEO David Harris told the Post in a statement: We havent seen any serious uptick in antisemitism, nor should we. This is a global crisis that only in the minds of fanatic antisemitic conspiracy theorists could be somehow linked to Jews.As a matter of fact, I wouldnt be surprised if Israeli and Jewish medical researchers in the US and elsewhere are among those who help find the diagnostic and prescriptive breakthroughs to defeat this major health challenge, he said.

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Will the coronavirus lead to yet another spike in antisemitism in the US? - The Jerusalem Post

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